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Chapter 3 - A Day To Remember

The story of my original Balto wolf character Achak and how he grew up to be the wolf he is now.

Chapter 3 - A Day To Remember

Chapter 3 - A Day To Remember
        The sun was bright the next morning, but the weather had begun to turn cold again. Winter was on it's way. It would not, however, stop this day's purpose for Achak, Takoda, and Ayashi. Their father Cheveyo was going to take them around the rest of their pack's territory. Takoda and Aya were not quite as excited today, still a bit cautious from their encounter with the four wolves the previous day. But their father gave them comfort in saying that those wolves wouldn't be back. Encouraged by the reassurance, Takoda and Ayashi forged ahead once they were off, exploring again. Achak also explored, of course, but remained closer to his father. The large black alpha was teaching him, telling him what to do if he got lost, or showing him how to see what time of day it was based on the sky. The young wolf took in all the information seriously, knowing it was important in learning to survive.
        The day was danger free, as the four wolves trekked around the border of their territory. As promised, there were no sign of the wolves from the day before. Eventually though, Takoda and Ayashi got tired, unused to traveling long distances. Achak seemed fine, though a little weary, was still eager to know more. Cheveyo inwardly smiled at that discovery. Yes, Achak would, indeed, make a good alpha one day.
``Dad, can we go home, my paws hurt…!'' Little Aya padded up to her father, Takoda soon after, both looking tired from the long day. A little ways away Achak rolled his eyes. Not that he was mad; if anything he was sympathetic towards his siblings. It had been a long day, and even his own paws were a bit sore from the walking.
        Cheveyo gazed down at his two pups, then smiled crouching down a bit to their level.
``Yes, we can head home now, it's been a long day for you three, I'm sure.'' Ayashi and Takoda nodded, tails wagging slightly in agreement. Straightening once again, the large black alpha started forward, back towards the caves. Achak was slightly disappointed in having to go back already, but followed obediently by his father. Soon enough his disappointment was spoiled as Takoda started to try and get his brother to play, biting at his legs and tail, making little growling noises to try and engage his bulkier, quieter sibling. At first the silver streaked wolf shook his brother off, not really in the mood for play. But when Takoda surprised Achak, and tackled him, it sent them both rolling over each other. When they stopped, Takoda ended up on top, being the lighter of the two, with Achak on his back looking up at his lighter colored sibling in surprise. But that seemed to cause the reaction Takoda had been looking for, as the black and silver wolf pawed at his brother's stomach, and biting at his legs until he was free. Darting off with Achak in chase, Takoda didn't get very far before being body tackled by the larger of the two. After tumbling a few feet, it was Achak that came up on top this time, smirking down at his brother. Takoda grinned back, tail wagging. Suddenly a weight plowed into Achak, though it wasn't enough to knock him over. Looking down, he saw Ayashi gnawing on his leg playfully, looking back up to him with her blue eyes. But that seemed just the right amount of time for Takoda to wiggle out from under his bigger sibling and take off again after kicking some snow at him. Ayashi then giggled and ran off after Takoda. Shaking the snow off his muzzle, the silver streaked black wolf gave chase once more, and once more quickly cornered the two.
``I've got you now…'' Hunkering down on the ground, looking ready to pounce, he paused at hearing something approaching him. Before Achak even knew it, Cheveyo had charged up and tackled him, chuckling and pinning his son with a paw.
``Who's got whom, now.'' he watched in amusement as the younger under him squirmed and kicked, biting at his father's legs. It was all play of course, Achak enjoyed rough-housing, but since neither Takoda, nor Ayashi could match up to him, Cheveyo often stepped up to fill in. Besides, it was good practice for him for when he would have to fight. Although the great black alpha was his father, he was also still the alpha, which meant he wasn't always free to play with the young wolf. That was when Kanook, the second in command, and Cheveyo's best friend came in. Kanook was a deep chocolate wolf with cream-colored markings and dark blue eyes that almost always shone with mischief. The older wolf was also Achak's adopted uncle, and often looked after him and his two siblings if his parents were busy hunting or anything else related to the pack.
        After some good-natured rough-housing, Cheveyo gathered up his children and they all set off toward their caves again, and although the young wolves were beat by now, they still ran to greet their mother as she came out. Aya yipped happily and jumped up to lick at the silver wolf, who returned the affectionate gesture.
``You all had fun, then, I presume..?'' glancing up at her mate, she nuzzled him as he approached.
``Yes, now they have seen our territory…'' At that Aya had to pipe in.
``It's so big! My paws hurt from all the walking..'' he pouted, her ears dropping tiredly. Olathe smiled at her daughter, turning to go into the cave with her.
``Why don't you go rest then, hm?'' As they disappeared, Cheveyo turned to glance at his sons, one looking about to fall over asleep, being Takoda, and the other just as weary, but trying to hold out. It had been a very long day for them. Calling their names, the large black wolf soon sent them inside to sleep as well. Soon after, Olathe returned from inside, padding over to join her mate at a cliff. The sunset that was painted across the sky gave everything purple, red and pink hues, even glittering off the midnight black of the alpha's fur. Sitting down and gazing out at the sky, the female sighed. ``It's beautiful, isn't it? Spring is nearly over…winter will soon arrive. It will be their first winter…'' Their, referring to Achak, Ayashi and Takoda. A soft smile stretched across the black male's face.
``It will…And the caribou will be migrating again as well.'' It wouldn't be long now until Cheveyo would take Achak out to achieve his first kill. He was sure the young silver streaked wolf would succeed; it shone in his bright eyes.
        The two wolves sat together in silence, just watching as the colors in the sky blended together and darkened as the sun set behind the mountains. Tomorrow would be a new day, and for their offspring, even more adventure was to come.

        The days had soon grown shorter as spring died, and winter was born to the land. The nip of the cold winds confirmed the season change, and a light snow often sprinkled, covering the ground and trees, and making them glisten in the dim sunlight. But as cold as it was already, nothing could dampen Achak's spirit today. Today, his father was taking him out for his first real hunt. The caribou were beginning to migrate, the perfect time to stock up on meat for the winter months ahead. The sharp winds played with the young wolf's fur, which was beginning to lengthen and thicken to keep him warm. His bright ice blue eyes scanned out over the cliff surrounding the caves, anxiously awaiting his father.
``It looks like your ready then..'' Came the smooth laid back tone. But it was not Achak's father who had spoken. Kanook walked up next to his adopted nephew, looking out towards the river where they were to head that morning. Achak gazed up at his uncle, looking a bit irritated.
``Is my father ready? Shouldn't we go before we miss the crossing?'' Kanook smiled patiently.
``He is coming, be patient. And do not worry, we will not miss the crossing, even if the sun rises high into the sky. There will be plenty of caribou for weeks.'' But the older wolf could understand Achak's anxiousness. He wanted to prove himself, become a true member of the pack; not just the alpha's son. Light padding aroused the two wolves attention and they turned, seeing Cheveyo emerge from the cave with the other members of their pack. Olathe was going to be staying behind to watch Takoda and Ayashi, who weren't quite ready for hunting yet. The alpha walked up to his son, seeing with pride as he noted the fire in the bright eyes. Achak was ready.
``Lets head out then…'' yips and howls sounded at that. Everyone was excited. Following his father and Kanook, Achak stole a quick glance at the three staying behind. Olathe barked encouragingly at him, followed by Ayashi and Takoda, tails wagging. Replying back with his own bark, which had already deepened with age, the young black wolf ran to catch up with the pack.

        The pack stayed together until they reached their destination, where they broke off into smaller groups. Achak stayed with Cheveyo of course, his nerves buzzing with anticipation. He could barely sit still, but forced himself to pay attention. His father was teaching him about how the pack worked in one unit, first surrounding their prey, then herding it away from the rest of its kind, then finally taking it down together.
``Now, Kanook will give a signal when he and the others are in position. They'll then chase out a few of the caribou from the herd. That's when we jump out and help attack. But be careful of their hooves and antlers, they're sharp, and they are capable of tossing you right into the air.'' Nodding, Achak watched from their position in the trees as the caribou out in the open began to cross the river. They didn't seem very big now, but what his father had told them, caribou were very large, and often took a good few wolves to take down a full grown one. Some of the wolves had suggested he go after a young caribou, but how was he suppose to prove himself if he took down something he knew he could kill. No, Achak was going to help his father bring down a buck today. So they waited.
        After a while, Cheveyo glanced around. What was taking Kanook and his group so long? They should have gotten into position by now. A light rustle from behind revealed a few of their group. They looked anxious and a bit worried.
``Leader, where is Kanook's signal?'' Had something happened? Achak glanced around at the other wolves, now wondering that as well. Cheveyo frowned, his golden eyes scanning.
``Maybe we just can't hear them?'' another wolf offered. But there didn't seem to be anything wrong…so where was Kanook's signal?
        That's when they heard it. It made every wolf there's fur stand on end. A sound that sent chills down Achak's spine all the way to the tip of his tail. It was a gunshot. All the wolves were tense, ears and tails erect, facing towards the direction the noise had come from. The wild fear in every eye only increased the young wolf's nervousness, and now worry. Worried for his uncle, fellow pack, and his own group. If there were humans were here, and they had guns, that only meant danger. Another shot rang out , and a few wolves jumped or winced, lowering themselves down to the ground. But Cheveyo's fur just rose on his neck. Even more shots, and some birds flew out from the trees. Some of the caribou bellowed and quickened their pace through the river. No. Things were not alright! Those shots were coming from the other side of the river! Achak looked over in surprise as his father stood up. The other wolves noticed too.
``Leader? What are you doing?'' With his black coat, the alpha would be seen relatively easy by the humans.
``Those shots are coming from the direction Kanook went off to…'' A few collective gasps answered, even from Achak. The young wolf looked off to the other side of the river. Before he could think any more, his father growled. ``You all stay here…'' Achak's bright eyes widened. Cheveyo was going?!
``Leader! They'll see you!''
``It's too dangerous!'' The warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears, as the dark alpha stepped out of the bushes. Jumping up, Achak finally found his voice.
``Father, I'll go too!'' Golden eyes snapped to his form.
``No. You'll stay here with everyone else.'' Rebellious blue eyes stared back at him. Achak had never gone against his father's orders, but this was serious.
``Kanook and the others! They-''
I'll go and bring them back. I will not allow you to put yourself in danger. You will stay here and wait. Do you understand?'' For a moment it seemed the silver streaked wolf would refuse. But then the wolf sat down back down, ears relaxing and tail lowering.
Yes, sir…'' He remained where he was, lowering his gaze to the ground, feeling defeated. Cheveyo turned back around, slipping out of the bush and out towards the river. Achak and their small group took to surveillance, watching and listening for anymore shots or disturbances. But it was quiet now, save for the caribou. Then all of a sudden, a few minutes later, a barrage of gunfire rang out, surprising everyone. Achak jumped up, eyes wide in horror as he and the others could hear yipping and howling along with the shots. He couldn't just sit here and wait anymore! Not while his father, Kanook, and the rest of his pack were in danger. With a determined growl, the black and silver male shot out from the cover of the bushes, ignoring the shouts to come back, to stop. Achak wasn't slowing down now. Darting towards the river, he didn't even flinch as the caribou panicked at the sight of a wolf coming at them. Once across the river, fur soaked, but not about to stop, the wolf continued on towards the woods.
        Slowing, only to catch a scent, Achak's nose wrinkled at the other smell; human. Humans, like his father said, had a distinct, bad smell. Once he finally caught up with his father's scent, he followed it to a small cliff, and looked down. To his horror, he saw his father and Kanook, cornered up against a rock wall, by two humans. Only one had a gun, the other that stood behind held a big stick. Cheveyo's dark fur stood up threateningly on his back and neck, golden eyes wild with fury. He stood in front of his best friend protectively. The chocolate colored wolf was crouched down, his fur darkened at his shoulder. Kanook had been shot?! But despite that fact, his lips were drawn back across his fangs, snarling along with the black alpha. It was a side of his uncle Achak had never seen. Kanook, with his usual friendly, laid back, yet mischievous personality made it seem the wolf didn't have a mean bone in his body . But then again, Achak had never really given it much thought; Kanook was second in command for a reason. But, snapping out of his thoughts by the cocking of the gun, the young wolf thought desperately. If he didn't do something fast, that man would kill his two family members! As the gun came up to aim, something in the black and silver wolf came to life. With an angry snarl, Achak launched from the cliff with a great leap. The human below didn't even have the change to figure out what was happening before the weight hit him, and knocked him to the ground. The second human gasped, dropping his big stick. Maybe it was the site of a n over-average sized young wolf with his white fangs dug into his partner's neck, bright blue eyes blazing. Blood dripped from the man's neck, as he hung limp in Achak's jaws. Dead. The angered wolf didn't care, dropping the body with a thump to the cold ground. Glancing over to his father and uncle, who both seemed to be in shock with surprised looks on their faces, his own softened. It was then that Cheveyo spoke up.
``I told you to-''
``Cheveyo, he saved our lives just now…don't discipline him for it.'' The black alpha looked ready to say something else, but stopped, then suddenly charged for his son.
``Get down!'' Achak did so, ducking down to the ground as his father shot over him with a snarl. Turning, he saw that it turned out that his father had pounced on the other human, who had been about to bask him with that big club-like stick.. Kanook limped over.
``Leave him…we should leave.'' Cheveyo snarled a bit more at the human he now had pinned under him, earning him a frightened yelp. But then getting off and joining his friend and son, looking to Kanook.
``Can you walk?'' Kanook tilted his head, [putting on one of his typical lazy grins. ``Tis but a flesh wound. Still got three legs to get me back. I'm fine.'' Achak didn't quite know what to think about the conversation, but agreed that they needed to leave. All of them taking off back towards the river, they didn't give the cliffs a second glance.
        Halfway to the river, Kanook stopped. ``I told my group to run and meet up at the old caves. I shouldn't keep them any longer.'' Cheveyo nodded.
``Alright, we'll all meet across the river then. Be careful.''
``Ah, you and Achak as well…'' With that they each went off in their separate directions again. As Achak and his father reached the river, it had started to snow again, spotting their fur with white. Pausing to get a drink at the river, the sound of a howl coming from the woods made them look over. That's right…their group was still waiting. Cheveyo turned to his son a moment.
``I'm going to go talk to them for a bit, you stay here and wait for Kanook and his group.'' The blue-eyed wolf nodded obediently, watching as his father went off towards the woods. Taking a seat for the moment, the young wolf then looked back to the water, reflecting on the day's events. He had been so excited to find out his father was taking him out to join in the pack's hunt, only to later have it spoiled by the humans. Kanook had also gotten hurt at the cliffs. He himself had finally made his own kill, although it wasn't the way, or the creature that he wanted.
        As the black and silver wolf sat near the bank of the river waiting for his father to return, he started getting a growing uneasiness…like he wasn't alone. When a gust of wind blew by…Achak froze in his spot. The smell carried in the was-A shot suddenly hit the water next to him. Too close for comfort, and causing him to jump up and whirl around. Standing there was the human he, his father, and uncle had let live. The man was also carrying the gun, and looked mad. There was no shelter out here in the open! Maybe he'd be able to get to the woods if he ran…Backing up through the chilly waters, the hunter advanced.
``I'll get you, you dirty little beast…You killed Jake!'' The gun was raised, and Achak took that as a signal to turn and haul his furry tail to the woods. As soon as he started running though, shots rang out, hitting the ground next to him. Starting to zig-zag, he hoped the pattern would help him evade the shots. But just as the wolf thought it was over, another shot rang out, and a hot pain shot through his back leg. Stumbling at the pain, shocked, he fell, rolling a bit in the thin layer of snow. Shaking it off and getting back to his feet, he panted heavily from the run. The human shad stopped his chase, now standing a few yards away, gun aimed right at him. The silver streaked wolf wondered how he was going to get out of this…injured, he doubted he would be able to get to the shelter of the woods in time. The human smirked. ``Got nowhere to go now, ya little beast…'' The gun was coked. Ice blue eyes widened, then closed tightly, his whole body tensing awaiting his fate, his imminent death. But then a snarl, and--
The shot pierced the air.

        Silence. Was he dead? No…he hadn't felt any pain…
``What the..'' at the voice, Achak slowly opened his eyes. There was a large shadow covering him, along with the strong smell of blood. Droplets of crimson red dripped onto the white snow, staining it with it's rich color.
``Achak…You're alright now, don't be frightened.'' The young wolf gasped.
``…F-Father!'' Cheveyo…His father…had just jumped in and in front of his son just in time to protect him from the threat. But in doing so…he had…Achak stepped forward around the alpha, gasping again as he saw the blood soaking his father's chest. Forgetting all about the hunter, the blue eyed wolf began licking at the wound. The great black male coughed, and the ground was once more speckled with red. Feeling his legs give out, Cheveyo sunk to the ground. With a startled yelp, Achak tried to support his bulk, but it was no use. And the quiet atmosphere was once more broken by the familiar noise of a cocking gun. Slowly, the young wolf turned. The man was aiming at them again, looking triumphant.
``Looks like I'll get to kill two wolves in one day…'' He pulled the trigger….but nothing happened, just a soft `click'. The human made a surprised choking-like noise, looking at his weapon. Them came the very welcomed sound of wolves from their pack's howls. They were approaching their fallen leader and his son, hackles raised, eyes wild, and fangs bared. Slowly, the hunter backed up, dropping the gun into the snow, then turned and ran. A few of their pack mates gave chase.
        Now with that threat gone, Achak turned back to his inured father, nudging him with his muzzle. Cheveyo's dulled golden eyes opened a moment tiredly, and he took a raspy breath.
``Come on father, we have to go now…'' The stained ground under the alpha was spreading rapidly, and it was beginning to scare the younger wolf, causing his voice to shake. ``Please, you have to get up…'' Moving to Cheveyo's side, he pushed, trying to get his father to his feet. Why wasn't his father not even trying?! Tears started stinging his bright eyes. ``Father! We have to go home now!''
``…Achak…'' if not for their good hearing, the weak voice of the black wolf would not have been heard. ``…I'm not…going home with you…'' His son shook his dark head, ears going back in disbelief. ``Achak...listen to me…'' The silver streaked wolf closed his eyes, holding back tears, but listened. ``I'm so proud of you…you've grown into a strong and caring wolf. I feel at ease…leaving the pack to you, my son. Take care…of your siblings and mother…and tell your uncle I'm sorry…'' the dull golden eyes closed, and coughs racked the large wolf's body.
``Father!'' This couldn't be happening! His father was…was dying!
``Grow strong…Achak…and become a great and wise leader….'' with a fond little smile, a sigh was the last thing to leave the older wolf's body….then nothing. At first Achak didn't want to believe it, tail tucked in beneath him, he nudged at his father's face.
``Father…?'' Nuzzling the body, he laid down next to it, and buried his face in the silky jet black fur. But there was no reply, or movement. The black and silver wolf couldn't hear the once strong beating of the other's heart within his chest. ``…F-father…'' Now realizing the impossible had happened, the salty tears ran down his black and silver colored face.
                Emerging at a run from the trees, but stopping at the sight before him, Kanook was frozen in place. The mighty black wolf…his best friend! Laying on a crimson stained ground…and the sobbing Achak at his side. Slowly, the other wolves emerged after their co-leader, each with the similar expression of shock, pain, or sorrow.
        Finally raising his head, his face soaked with tears, Achak sat up, head hung, with tears still running freely down his young face. But then he raised his head, and the most mournful, heartbroken, yet beautiful howl sang through the air, piercing every wolf's heart. For today was and would always be remembered…         
The day Cheveyo: Leader, father and mate…died.


Comments (5)

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SilverLiningCloudy on October 21, 2006, 1:12:08 PM

SilverLiningCloudy on
SilverLiningCloudyomg...omg...u horrible could u make such a beautiful yet so friggn sad chapter ?!?!?... :'( T-T i am so reading the rest of it !

Weirdo on August 9, 2006, 9:32:21 PM

Weirdo on
WeirdoOh my god. Beautiful, beautiful work. Amazing story. So sad. You caused me to cry, dangit. T_T *faves*

barbara on August 4, 2006, 10:31:51 AM

barbara on
barbaraawwwww! Poor Achak! *cries a river* that was so awesome and geez i cant decribe it! Great Job!

VahnTheWhiteDragon on August 4, 2006, 10:16:22 AM

VahnTheWhiteDragon on
VahnTheWhiteDragon...poor achak..this chapter was beuatiful and sad at the same time TT.TT. this was a great chap keep up the great work!

dragon_ally on August 4, 2006, 8:36:25 AM

dragon_ally on
I told myself that I wasn't going to tear up...ToT but I did. WAHHHH!

*blows on a tissue* That was very well set up; the events flowed really well together. AWESOME JOB!